Format: Theme night
Since theme nights are always fun, we went for another one this week. As a reminder, the rules are as follows:
- All characters and non-basic actions must follow a specific theme. Single-affiliation is allowed, but non-affiliated characters can be allowed if they fit within the theme (e.g. Casey Jones in a Turtles team).
- Basic actions are exempted from the theme.
- Golden Age cards are allowed, with the same restrictions as usual (no Bard, Thief or Oracle; you know which ones)
- If choosing to make a villain team, you are required to choose villains that normally have a common foe (so no putting Shriek, Hush, Collector and Foot Ninja in the same team, for example).
This week, I really wanted to try using the Exiles. A friend passed me the OP Sabretooth for this (since my FLGS never got the OP kit), because I just wanted to find a way to make that affiliation work. And the results were…
So one thing that is striking: yes, there are a lot of 4-cost characters. Sadly, the Exiles don’t have much variety on that front.
As will likely be obvious, UC Morph is the centerpiece. I specifically chose my basic actions, Misdirection and Shockwave, to make the most of Morph and use him either to bring in awesome characters and ramp, or to do removal and burn. Every time you field Morph, you have to reconsider the choice you’re making, but Morph + Shockwave will often be a good win condition (don’t forget to use Shockwave’s global before attacking to protect your dice!).
But he’s only part of my win condition. Since Shockwave is awesome removal against sidekicks and other level 1 characters, Mimic serves a double function: he’s ramp and churn, to keep getting those 4 and 5-costs and get them on the field, and he’s a bruiser, as I can copy the biggest die on the field and have all my Mimics be huge. Sasquatch is the Exiles’ best bruiser, and serves that very function, but I wasn’t afraid to borrow an opponent’s stats where necessary.
Nocturne is the hidden gem of this team. Redirecting your opponent’s first action is not that crazy in a regular tournament, but when your opponent won’t use that many actions (people mostly avoid non-basic actions on theme nights), she is so crazily handy. Sabretooth, by making every other Exile bigger, is no slouch either.
As for Sunfire, I was hoping to do some fun shenanigans with Blink and/or Thunderbird to trigger his Awaken ability. Not the easiest to pull of, but definitely funny enough to try. As a side note, while they don’t have the affiliation, both Sunfire and Thunderbird were members of the Exiles at some point (thanks Wikipedia!), so yes, it fits the theme rules.
With that said, on to the games!
I went up against the Lanterns team from last week, with unblockable Batman and Improvised Weapon to push through unblockable damage. I got one of his Improvised Weapon dice and used Nocturne to redirect his actions’ attack buff and slow him down. Meanwhile, I set up Mimic for ramp, and used Morph for Shockwave damage (and to KO sidekicks to re-field them for Mimic). My opponent was wearing my life down pretty well, but eventually, Sasquatch hit the field, and a bunch of beefy Mimics swung in for the win.
In the spirit of the upcoming movie, this guy ran a nice Avengers team that combined old-school control (Green Goliath) and aggro (C Ant-man and UC Falcon) with new-school Infiltrate burn (R Black Widow and SR Captain America). He tried to rush me with Ant-man and used Scarlet Witch to slow me down since I’d bought some actions. Trying to take advantage of a bad roll on my end, he was hitting me really hard with his Ant-man dice, and brought me down to 5 life. However, he was a bit too aggressive, and a bad roll left him with only one blocker at level 1. My Morph used Shockwave to clear his blocker, and I swung in for the win.
That team had a few pieces to it, but the only one that matters is Wolverine: The Best There Is. He used it with Cable’s global as a force block, Upgrade – Proton Cannon for Overcrush, Cone of Cold for pain…yeah, pretty classic strategy. Nocturne saved my bacon here. I bought one of his Proton Cannons, so he only had 2 action dice to give Wolverine Overcrush. With Nocturne redirecting the first, he thus had to rely on drawing both on the same turn, and that didn’t happen. This gave me the time to set up Morph, Mimic (copying his Wolverine!) and Sasquatch, and I used Misdirection with Morph to bringing Sabretooth to buff everyone. Long story short, I swung in for massive damage and the eventual win. He’s a newer player, but he’s not to be underestimated!
-This is actually the first time where I consistently relied on Mimic as an offensive piece rather than plain ramp. With the right pieces, he gets disgusting really quick. I really should’ve put 4 dice on him. My mistake.
-Morph is awesome. I specifically avoided bringing Betrayal because I wanted to stay friends with people after tonight, but Shockwave is a good option for damage too! I’m also impressed at how helpful Morph is with Misdirection. Swapping in a bruiser when attacking can catch opponents off-guard.
-I really wish I’d gotten to use Blink and Sunfire’s interaction, but the dice just didn’t roll for it. Ah well…
It’s rare that you can build an entire team based on a theme, from only one set (and, granted, one OP card), and have that team work well. But the Exiles, despite their rigid purchase costs, are actually pretty strong! I’m impressed, and if we get more Exiles in future sets, I’ll definitely revisit these guys.